E-cigs ‘better than patches and gum’ as quitting aid

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E-cigs ‘better than patches and gum’ as quitting aid

“E-cigarettes more effective than patches to help quit smoking, says study,” The Guardian reports. A UK study has found that people who use the aids are 60% more likely to quit than those who try nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches or gum, or willpower alone.

This was a “real world” study that surveyed a representative sample of the English population about their smoking habits.

The results of this study, whilst interesting, should be viewed with caution, as there are numerous limitations. This includes the fact it was not a randomised controlled trial (RCT), which is the best way to assess the effectiveness of treatments.

It also relied on people reporting quitting, but they may not have actually done so; self-reporting is not the most reliable of methods.

Finally, it did not compare e-cigarettes against medications, such as champix (varenicline), and psychological interventions. This makes it unclear how e-cigarettes compare to these methods.

Current evidence suggests that getting professional help through the NHS stop smoking service is the most effective way to quit.

E-cigarettes, however, are growing increasingly popular, so policymakers may need to decide whether or not they should be used by NHS smoking cessation services.
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